Excerpts : Have You Read The New Scriptures Yet? :



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In my articles 'A Third Elijah: An Endtime Prophecy?: Part
One' and 'The Kings Of The North And The South: Part Two', I
mention the fact that one of the controversial practices of
the group known as The Family, is to encourage their members
to memorize a set of Bible verses known as the 'David Set'.
The primary purpose for memorizing these verses, which are
taken mostly from the Old Testament, is to enforce the
belief with group members, that their now-deceased founder,
David Brandt Berg, also known variably as Moses David, Mo,
and Father David, was God's chosen prophet and one true
voice for the Endtime. As I explain in the second of the
aforementioned articles, I believe that the organization has
totally misinterpretted these verses of Scripture. Please
refer to that article for a list of the verses, as well as
my explanation concerning their proper interpretation.

However, it appears to me that one of Father David's primary
errors was the same as that committed by some of the other
self-proclaimed prophets, faith healers and preachers who
have stood in the limelight of American Christianity; and
that is that he allowed and encouraged his followers to set
him and his words on a pedestal. The practice of memorizing
the 'David Set' is one clear example of this; but it is not
the only one. Like certain other organizations, such as the
Mormons and the followers of the Urantia Book, members of
The Family believe that the writings of Father David, and
possibly those of his wife and successor, Maria, are new
Scriptures which supercede the Bible in certain instances.
This belief is particularly true in regards to some of the
writings of the Apostle Paul, quite possibly because some of
Paul's writings challenge some of the questionable doctrines
of The Family.

This belief in viewing the writings of Father David as
modern-day Scripture is held so strongly amongst members of
the group that, just as student radicals of the 1960's
memorized quotations taken from 'The Little Red Book'
written by former Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung, The Family
also encourages memorization of quotations taken from the
'Mo Letters' of Father David; and this practice began even
before the man's actual death in 1994! To aggrandize a man
after his decease is one thing, but to do so while he is
still alive through memorizing his words and making them
equal to the Bible almost defies belief. While the communist
ideology of Mao Tse Tong is far removed from the Christian
ideology of Father David, it is nevertheless the same
principle at work which causes people to memorize their
works; and that is the glorification of a man and his words.

At this point, someone might present the argument, 'Well,
don't we as modern-day Christians memorize the words of the
Prophets, and of Jesus Christ and of His Early Disciples?
Don't we memorize the words of the Apostle Paul as well?'.
While this is indeed true, I believe there is a marked
difference between these two practices, which I will explain
shortly. Personally, I can very easily imagine that had such
things occurred in Paul's day while he was still alive, upon
discovering it, he would have become quite upset, and
probably very embarrassed as well. On one hand, it is true
that the Apostle Paul did say:

"Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me."
(1 Corinthians 4:16)

However, if we look at other parts of Paul's Epistle, and
put his statements in their proper context, we see that he
was actually saying 'Follow me inasmuch as I follow Jesus
Christ.':

"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
(1 Corinthians 11:1)

Paul wasn't telling anyone to follow him as a man. He was
telling them to recognize the Spirit of Christ working
through him. In his Epistle, Paul was rebuking certain
members of the congregation at Corinth because they had
taken their eyes off of the Lord, and had begun to argue
between themselves regarding who had been instructed by
which Earthly teacher. Paul emphasized that who they
identified as their Earthly teacher wasn't what was
important, but rather that they all belonged to Christ:

"For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you
envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and
walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another,
I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and
who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as
the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered;
but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that
planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that
giveth the increase...Therefore let no man glory in men. For
all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas,
or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or
things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and
Christ is God's." (1 Corinthians 3:3-7, 21-23)

While at times Paul was quite bold and forthright in some of
his comments, he absolutely refused to accept the praise or
worship of men. As I have explained before, in Acts chapter
fourteen, when the people of Lystra tried to declare him a
god along with his companion Barnabas, this is how they
reacted:

"Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they
rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of
like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should
turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are
therein:" (Acts 14:14-15)

In the Book of Acts, as well as in his Epistles, Paul was
quite candid about his own waywardness and former life as a
self-righteous Pharisee who persecuted the True Church. He
willingly admitted his own human weaknesses, and pointed to
and uplifted the Lord as the only way to Eternal Salvation.
Paul's overall view is clearly reflected in the following
verse he wrote to the Hebrews:

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of
the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

While it is certainly true that we memorize verses from the
Bible for our own edification, as well as to enlighten
others concerning the Truth of the Gospel, in my view, the
primary difference between this practice and the practice of
memorizing the writings of modern-day men of God, is that
the canon has been universally recognized as the inspired
Word of God within the Christian world. The same cannot be
said of the writings of Father David, of Joseph Smith, of
the communicators of the Urantia Book, or of any other
modern work which boasts of being equal to or superior to
the Bible. The Divine Inspiration of these other works has
only been accepted by a small minority, that is, by those
who actually belong to each of these groups. On the other
hand, in accordance with the Scriptures, the acceptance of
the canon has been universally established in the mouth of
many more than just two or three witnesses.

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